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70-year-old man plans 30-day hunger strike

Recorder/Paul Franz
Greenfield resident Douglas E. Wight is headed to Washington, D.C., where he says he will spend the entire month of April on a hunger strike, and drinking nothing but water for 30 days.

Recorder/Paul Franz Greenfield resident Douglas E. Wight is headed to Washington, D.C., where he says he will spend the entire month of April on a hunger strike, and drinking nothing but water for 30 days.

GREENFIELD — Greenfield resident Douglas E. Wight is headed to Washington, D.C., where he says he will spend the entire month of April on a hunger strike, and drinking nothing but water for 30 days.

“I’m doing this for Mother Nature and Planet Earth,” said Wight, 70, who will go on a total hunger strike, like Mahatma Ghandi did at the age of 74 and survived.

According to a Scientific American article written in 2004, people can survive total hunger strikes, depending on what condition their bodies are in, for up to four to six weeks, if they remain hydrated — 10 days without water is about all the human body can withstand.

The British Medical Journal published an article in 1997, which talked about well-documented studies reporting survival of people who did hunger strikes for 28, 36, 38 and 40 days.

It isn’t yet clear where Wight will stay at night, but he plans to be in front of the American Petroleum Institute with more than a dozen others each day.

“I’m going to dress as a “super fireman” to fight the burning of the earth due to global warming,” said Wight Friday. He was to leave by bus for D.C. today and begin his hunger strike on Monday.

Wight said he plans to wear a red shirt, yellow reflective firefighter’s jacket, and a captain’s hat, which the town’s Fire Department has loaned him.

He said he will also wear a superhero mask.

“The earth is burning up and we have to do something about it,” said Wight.

He said Brian Eister, one of the organizers of the hunger strike, called him and asked him to join about 15 people from across the country.

“We will only drink water and take in enzymes, vitamins and minerals for the month,” said Wight, who is known in this area as “Capt. Dougars.”

Wight said he is a member of Occupy Franklin County and Greening Greenfield.

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